• Modernist perambulations through time and space: From Enlightened walking to crawling, stalking, modelling and street-walking

    Author(s):
    Anne Fuchs (see profile)
    Date:
    2016
    Group(s):
    Cultural Studies, Philosophy
    Subject(s):
    Cultural history, European literature, Germanic literature
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    20th Century Literature
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6133M
    Abstract:
    Analysing diverse modes of walking across a wide range of texts from the Enlightenment period and beyond, this article explores how the practice of walking was discovered by philosophers, educators and writers as a rich discursive trope that stood for competing notions of the morally good life. The discussion proceeds to then investigate how psychological, philosophical and moral interpretations of bad prac- tices of walking in particular resurface in texts by Franz Kafka, Thomas Mann and the interwar writer Irmgard Keun. It is argued that literary modernism transformed walking from an Enlightenment trope signifying progress into the embodiment of moral and epistemological ambivalence. In this process, walking becomes an expression of the disconcerting experience of modernity. The paper concludes with a discussion of walking as a gendered performance: while the male walkers in the modernist texts under discussion suffer from a bad gait that leads to ruination, the new figure of the flâneuse manages to engage in pleasurable walking by abandoning the Enlightenment legacy of the good gait.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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